Updated: Aug 7, 2019


Illustration by Lisa Alex Gray

I know some of you say you don’t need to shower every day?


I believe I’ve stood behind you in line at the grocery store.


Well, I am not one of you, but I wish I were.


If I don’t hose down daily I look like I fell into a vat of oil (not sure how that would happen, but it’s a pretty accurate visual).


This means every day I’m back in the shower resenting going through the motions.


Just as I was this morning when my thoughts wandered back to a horrific spa treatment I once had.



Treating yourself — not always a good idea


I had decided to treat myself to this body scrub thing at an old world spa by my house and was so excited when I arrived at the spa to see the place was just as beautiful as their online photos.


However, once inside the treatment room, my excitement began to fizzle. There were definitely no photos of this room on their website.


In fact, it looked more like an auto mechanic’s garage than a spa treatment room.


After doing a quick once over I began to get the creeping suspicion that nothing good would happen in this space.


The only furniture in the room was a gray hard plastic surgical-looking table sitting in the center of the room.


My instinct told me to run, but before I could act, in walked Helga.



Trust your instincts


Actually I don’t remember her real name but Helga should give you the proper visual.


She was about six feet, four with hands like oven mitts. And either she was wearing shoulder pads under her uniform or she was a VERY BIG BONED girl.


She walked over to me and uttered one monosyllabic phrase, “Get on table”. Then she asked, “Do you need to keep towel?” almost like she was challenging me, like I was the new girl on the prison block.


Well, I didn’t know if I needed my towel.


I didn’t think I needed my pepper spray when I left the house that morning but things change.


The towel may be my only remaining line of defense.


I actually began to think back to my brother snapping me with a towel as a kid. Did he twirl it clockwise or counterclockwise?


I decided my best move was to act tough and toss the towel aside, I had bluffed my way through many high powered meetings in my career, I could bluff my way through Helga.



My $2 carnival ride


The next thing I knew Helga grabbed a scrub brush and preceded to scrub me within an inch of my life.


As the torture ensued I began to notice little things like…Helga’s outfit looked a lot like the uniforms I saw the cleaning crew wearing on my way in to the spa.


Is that an SOS pad in her hand?


I think that’s a jar of turtle wax sitting on the shelf?


Why is there a big drain in the middle of the cement floor?


….and why the heck does this Frankenstein table have wheels on it?


Among Helga’s other stellar qualities, she had the grace of a hippo.


Every time she walked around the side of the table to gain better access to my remaining tissue she would bump the side of the table, sending the table and me skidding across the wet floor, until she grabbed us with her Grizzly Bear claws and abruptly stopped us.


My spa treatment had become like some awful ride at a $2.00 carnival.


I was waiting for the loud rock music to kick in.



I’m no circus animal


Eventually every skin cell had been removed from my body and Helga put down her Brillo pad, then asked me to stand up.


It appeared the worst was over until I saw her grab a hose (wait where did that come from?).


She proceeded to hose me down like a circus animal. Then she dried her hands with — MY TOWEL — and left.


So maybe this is the reason why I’m not so excited about daily showering.


Maybe I’m having Helga flashbacks?


Come to think of it I don’t like to scrub pots either.


#ShortStory #Humor #Comedy #LifeExperience #Beauty

©2020 by Lisa Alex Gray